India on Monday said that it sent emergency help abroad amid the escalating coronavirus crisis, while some other countries took advantage of the situation to propagate terrorism and aggression.
“When some countries are taking advantage of Covid to enhance terrorism or adopt aggressive policies, India’s answer is to rush medical supplies, strengthen national health capacity or mitigate socio-eco impacts on vulnerable countries,” India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations TS Tirumurti said at the third anniversary of India-UN Development Partnership Fund, in an apparent reference to Pakistan and China.
Tirumurti cited 19th-Century spiritual leader Vivekananda and said that helping other countries was one of India’s essential values. “The essence of India’s development partnership was articulated by Swami Vivekananda who said: ‘Each nation must give in order to live. When you give, you will have life; when you receive, you must pay for it by giving to all others’,” Tirumurti said.
The official added that India has always prioritised cooperation over conflict, co-existence over competition, sharing over receiving, plurality over hegemony and inclusivity and democracy over exclusion and control, according to PTI. “This has underpinned our approach to development cooperation as well,” he said.
The Centre had said in April that it sent around 8.5 crore hydroxychloroquine, or HCQ, tablets, and 50 crore paracetamol tablets to over 100 countries in just two weeks. India had sent the supplies to Nepal, Germany, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bahrain, United States, Spain, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles and Dominican Republic. India had also given 10 ventilators to Nepal in August.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also repeatedly said that India is looking at the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to help other countries. In his keynote address at a session of the United Nations Economic and Social Council on July 17, Modi had said that India was providing medical assistance to 150 nations.
India is now the world’s second-worst coronavirus-hit country. It has reported over 49 lakh cases and 80,776 deaths so far.
Amid the worsening crisis, India is also dealing with border tensions with China in Ladakh. The standoff between the two countries peaked after China accused India of “outrageously firing warning shots” near the Pangong Tso lake. India denied China’s accusation and said that the neighbouring country’s troops had tried to close in on Indian forward positions. Last week, the two countries agreed on a five-point plan to de-escalate the situation.
India has also been pressuring Pakistan to curtail terror activities. India and the United States issued a joint statement on Thursday, asking Pakistan to take urgent steps to ensure that its land is not used for terror activities and punish the perpetrators of terror attacks, including those that took place in Mumbai and Pathankot.